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DownBeat - The Great Jazz Interviews (A 75th Anniversary Anthology) Paperback – November 1, 2009
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About the Author
Frank Alkyer is the publisher of DownBeat magazine. He is also the publisher of Music Inc. and UpBeat Daily magazines. Ed Enright is the editor of DownBeat magazine.
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Following the publication,in conjunction with DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE,of the fine "The Miles Davis Reader",a number of years ago,this collection takes in most of the greatest names in jazz,past and present. While many more musicians could have been included,the artists here form a solid foundation of jazz. From jazz's beginnings,featured artists such as W.C. Handy,Louis Armstrong,Jelly Roll Morton,Duke Ellington (1930's),through Woody Herman,Glenn Miller, Billie Holiday, T-Bone Walker,Stan Kenton,Lester Young,Dizzy Gillespie,Charlie Parker (1940's),into the 1950's with Les Paul,Chet Baker,Lennie Tristano,Oscar Peterson,John Coltrane,Roy Eldridge,to Joe Williams,Ornette Coleman,Paul Desmond,Bill Evans,Art Tatum,Ella Fitzgerald,Thelonious Monk,Miles Davis,Muddy Waters (1960's),to "Cannonball" Adderley,Roland Kirk,Charles Mingus,Tom Waits,Frank Zappa,WEATHER REPORT,Stevie Wonder (1970's),to Freddie Hubbard,Brian Eno,Tony Williams,Keith Jarrett,Carla Bley,Henry Threadgill,Carlos Santana (1980,s),to Joe Henderson,Stephane Grapelli,Joshua Redman,Van Morrison,Joni Mitchell,Betty Carter,Steve Lacy (1990's),through Tony Bennett,Hank Jones,Dave Brubeck,James Brown (2000's),and many,many more,together present the history of jazz.
The many black and white (and few color) photographs,many not seen for years,adds depth and emphasis to the thoughts of these artists. Sprinkled throughout are (small) color reproductions of DOWNBEAT covers from various years. The opinions on jazz in the articles and a few "Blindfold Tests",(different from the interviews),by musicians from the period,are interesting and attest to the aches and pains jazz went through (and is still going through),with a number of dissenting opinions and criticisms (read both 60's articles by "Cannonball" Adderley and Charles Mingus concerning Ornette Coleman as an example) on the course and future of jazz.
This is a book that could sit on anyone's jazz shelf. For someone new to jazz,there's much information which would lead to some great jazz listening. For the long-time jazz listener/reader,this book is a compendium of jazz history,in chronological order,which reinforces why we listen to jazz in the first place. DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE has done a fine job delving into it's vast archives,something they alone are uniquely qualified to do. In bringing together the history of a true American musical genre,through the thoughts of the very musicians who created (and are still creating) so much fine music,into one collection,is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. DOWNBEAT has done it.
One of the best Jazz items I have ever purchased besides the music itself.
If you are a Jazz fan or simply have an interest in American Music from the 30's through the 2000's, this book will not disappoint. It is divided into decades so that you can walk through the interviews on a nice timeline. It's a fantastic compilation.